Donald Macleod presents five takes on the life and music of Gioachino Rossini.
Donald starts by unpacking the winning formula Rossini hit on right at the start of his operatic career. Aged 18, Rossini was thrown in at the deep end, learning on the job at Venice’s Teatro San Moisè, and the structural groundplan he concocted for his early farces continued to come in handy later in life. Rossini is best known as a composer of comic operas, but Donald introduces us to his serious side, looking at three of his opere serie: Elisabetta, regina d’Inghilterra, Zelmira and Ermione. Next, a look at Rossini’s life through the enthusiastic but distorting lens of the writer Stendahl, the composer’s earliest biographer and an eyewitness of his most productive period. Donald then delves into the large collection of music that Rossini didn’t have to write – his forays into other genres and forms that came out of his spare time and retirement. Finally, we journey to Paris, to explore the composer’s on-off relationship with the city where he wrote so many of his most celebrated works.
Presenter: Donald Macleod
Producer: Chris Barstow for BBC Wales
For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Gioachino Rossini: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m00013x1
And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z